Precision Medicine

4 ways physicians can help advance precision medicine research

Sara Berg, MS , News Editor

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) All of Us Research Program aims to enroll 1 million or more participants to gather data on a wide variety of health conditions. This aim is intended to gain better insights into the biological, environmental and behavioral influences on disease to enhance prevention and treatment. Key partners in helping to ensure the success of this program are physicians and other clinicians who have ongoing patient relationships.

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The AMA is leading research, advocacy and education efforts to guide physicians through ethical, regulatory and technical issues.

National enrollment for All of Us officially opened on May 6 to all people 18 and older nationwide, regardless of health status. Now that the program has launched, NIH will continue to add enrollment sites, especially in diverse communities across the country. Participants will contribute their health data over time by completing surveys, through their electronic health records, by providing blood and urine samples or from wearable devices and sensors.

A new AMA continuing medical education (CME) module can help physicians and their staff better educate patients on All of Us. Physicians and other health professionals can take this free online module to learn to better engage in discussions with your patients about the All of Us program, address questions about program enrollment and patient involvement, and learn more about how you can participate.

The free CME module covers the essentials of precision medicine, the Precision Medicine Initiative and the All of Us Research Program. Here is what physicians can expect to learn:

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How to enroll participants. There are two ways for participants to enroll in the All of Us Research Program—as direct volunteers or through health care provider organizations.  Physicians will learn who is eligible for program enrollment, how an interested participant can sign up and what will be expected from each individual involved.

How data will be collected and shared. If an individual is interested in the program, how is data collected and shared? This section of the module explains how All of Us will collect a limited set of standardized data from a variety of sources, such as EHRs, surveys and wearable mobile devices. While data will start small and grow over time, participants will have access to their own data that is securely stored.

How to respond to questions. When your patient has questions about the program, what is important to know? The module will help physicians understand what patient perspectives they might encounter, and tips or talking points to navigate addressing common questions.

How to get involved. As valued partners, physicians are encouraged to get involved in the All of Us Research Program. The CME module explains different ways you can help. For example, serving as a resource to help inform your patients about the program and how it works, becoming an ambassador or enrolling in the program yourself.

This CME module is available in the AMA Education Center. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ available. Learn more and register.

The AMA offers online CME on a series of precision medicine education courses to expand your knowledge. Explore precision medicine CME.